Label news: DG sign two conductors

From Yannick Nézet-Séguin this morning:

I am thrilled to announce that I am now an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist! After a decade of recording regularly on the yellow label, we are now looking forward to incredible future releases and projects with The Philadelphia Orchestra Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Orchestre Métropolitain, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The Metropolitan Opera.Thanks to the great DG family! Looking forward to this beautiful partnership!

A second signing is imminent, we hear. She will be DG’s first female baton.

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    • I hope it is Susanna Mälkki. But between the Slipped Disc hint and marketing realities, I am not optimistic.

          • For whatever the reason, Mahler 9 does seem to bring out the best in conductors and orchestras. There’s something to that. As much I love Mahler’s music, I actually prefer Bruckner 9, sans finale (the opposite is true for me with the number 8, e.g. Mahler over Bruckner).

    • Have you seen Mirga conduct live on a regular basis Ted? If not, you should, she’s wonderful and a breath of fresh air!

  • Are recording deals still really a big deal in classical music? It certainly is not in other music markets.

    Goes to show how the classical music market lags the other markets by decades.

    • No. recordings are NOT a big deal anymore, specially not with
      orchestral music. There is enough available on the market in pristine quality, in spite of having been recorded over 50 years ago. We also do not need the 95th Traviata.
      Digital is absolutely no quality asset, SACD and other Surround formats are totally irrelevant.
      It is the personality of a recording coupled with exceptional artistic performance AND good promotion which determines a successful release. Selling 800 units in the first week in the US probably brings you to Nr. 1. This will never be a commercial success.

  • I’m hoping that DG actually records something with Philly OTHER than Rachmaninoff. They already have lots of good Rachmaninoff available. Trust me, I have nothing against Rachmaninoff – just move on, is all.

    • I couldn’t agree more on recording something other than Rachmaninoff. He has been in the process of conducting all of the Sibelius symphonies in Philadelphia and leads the second and seventh next season. That would make a good disc.

      • Sibelius 2 and 7 would be quite a treat with that string section. The Ormandy Sibelius 7 has an almost absurd emphasis placed upon the strings. While I generally very much like the Ormandy catalog, an updated recording of those works with Philly should be great.

  • It’s a little mysterious to me why he is everybody’s darling. He’s a very solid conductor but none of his recordings seemed to me special or outstanding. Nobody needs more solid recordings.

    • You want an answer? Yannick Nézet-Séguin was simply mesmerizing in a unique performance of Shostakovich’s rarely performed and very difficult 4th Symphony in a concert with “his” orchestra (The Orchestre Métropolitain in Montréal). Claude Gingras the most feared and very hard to please famous (or infamous) music critic of the local daily La Presse was so impressed that he was at a loss for words. By the way that concert was broadcast on the French CBC (TV) network and still is available on the Internet.

        • Instead of focusing on the critic (feared or not) why don’t you just go for the performance of the Symphony and see or hear for yourself the quality of the conducting by YNS? After all the question was “why is he evrybody’s darling?”

      • I’ve listened twice to that particular broadcast on Sirius XM, and it’s just an absolutely knockout. Bronfman plays the daylights out of the Prokofiev 2nd piano concerto, while the Shostakovich 4th is simply out of this world (and I own a whole slough of recordings of that particular work).

  • YNS records central repertoire too early. The Schumann set, for example, is quite bland. But the performances of the same works in Philadelphia this year have been quite interesting. Still not Sawallisch, but definitely growth.

    But, as I’ve said before in this forum, I don’t understand why he’s choosing orchestras other than Philadelphia to record, especially for the late Romantic repertoire. From the full DG press release, it looks like Montreal gets the Mahler 8.

    • DG recorded liver performances of Mahler 8 @ Philadelphia. From the press release:

      “Mahler’s Symphony No.8 and a continuation of the Stravinsky ballet cycle – plans include Petrushka and The Firebird – with The Philadelphia Orchestra”

      • If true, that’s certainly good news for me. I have a ‘pirate’ burn job of the Mahler 8 from Verizon Hall, and it’s absolutely at the top of my pantheon. Hopefully DG doesn’t intervene too much and screw it up.

        • I’d love to hear Philly in the colorful “Firebird” as well. Their recording of the “Rite of Spring” with N.-S. as that the top of my pantheon for that work too (I own a ton of “Rite of Spring” recordings, including Stravinsky’s own).

        • I attended one of the Mahler 8th performances in Philadelphia and was extremely impressed. I think I’ve said on here before that he seems to excel at big pieces. The only performance I’ve seen him conduct live that I would probably say impressed me even more than the Mahler 8th was Verdi’s Requiem, which he opened his tenure with.

          He also led a very good Shostakovich 7th this season, but DG has given Shostakovich to Nelsons and Boston.

          • Speaking of which, why has the Nelsons/Boston Shostakovich cycle come to a halt? They announced that they were going to issue symphonies 6 & 7 together, but it hasn’t happened. Even more strange, the sixth got unceremoniously issued in the DG Boston Symphony box recently.

          • Shostakovich sym 4+11 will be released shortly, within a month if some sources are to be believed.

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